Time for 16/1 shouts Spurs to take Europa League seriously
Holly Thackeray | October 21st
Tottenham face blast from trophy-filled past
The Londoners last defeated this purple-shirted side on penalties following an aggregate 2-2 draw, with the subsequent successful shoot-out seeing Spurs snatch their second of two UEFA Cup trophies.
So, the capital club’s final continental crown came about in 1984 against Anderlecht, who they will now encounter in the group stages of the competition’s present incarnation. After having arguably taken their European antics in recent times rather lightly, this should spur Mauricio Pochettino’s side on.
After all, though the Premier League is amazingly open this season, Tottenham’s best trophy chance and subsequent shot of snaring Champions League football, is the undoubtedly on the Europa stage.
As winners Sevilla can attest, giving Europe’s little sister club competition undivided attention can eventually pay dividends, with UEFA now allowing Europa League victors an automatic spot in the Champions League.
Spurs superb shots for silverware
Being one of England’s top teams, a 16/1 price for Spurs to taste silverware success on the continent is incredibly generous from Coral, especially since Pochettino will be under pressure to deliver a trophy and/or a top four spot this term. Winning the Europa League would solve both problems.
Regular also-rans Tottenham have, since their golden-era of the 1970s and 80s, failed to ever pass the quarter-final hurdle again, which is clearly a record that needs rectifying.
Is this Tottenham’s time?
Incidentally, Spurs also share the best defensive record in the English top flight with noisy neighbours Arsenal, which is largely down to the superb partnership between Belgian pair Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
Although both were schooled in Ajax’s academy, the ball-playing centre back partners could be essential to Pochettino upon their return to their nation of birth, with Tottenham 3/1 to beat their upcoming Brussels-based competitors to nil.
Spurs also have plenty of depth on the defensive flanks, with former Burnley boy Kieran Trippier tussling for the right back berth with in-form Kyle Walker. The summer signing spoke recently about Tottenham’s trophy chances this season, stating: “There are so many good young players here – and there is a feeling in the dressing room that this is our time.”
If Pochettino avoids putting all his eggs in the Premier League basket, Trippier could be right.
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